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What you need to know for 01/21/2018

David Bromberg bringing a BIG band to town

David Bromberg bringing a BIG band to town

When David Bromberg brings a big band, he means it.
David Bromberg bringing a BIG band to town
David Bromberg will perform with a nine-piece ensemble featuring strings, horns and back-up singers at The Egg on Friday at 8 p.m.

When David Bromberg brings a big band, he means it: At The Egg on Friday, he’ll front a nine-piece groove machine that can play all the many kinds of music Bromberg loves. From raucous carnival wails to hushed folk ballads and all forms of rock, soul and blues in between, Bromberg has it covered.

The stage will look like a music store on Friday, and not just because he plays acoustic and electric guitars, fiddle and anything else with strings.

The Big Band features singer-guitarist-mandolinist Mark Cosgrove; singer-fiddler-mandolin player Nate Grower; singer-bassist Butch Amiot; drummer Josh Kanusky; trumpeter Peter Ecklund; saxophonist (tenor and soprano), clarinetist and penny whistle player John Firmin; baritone saxophonist John Payne; and singer Nancy Josephson (Bromberg’s wife).

Bromberg and company will be playing fresh tunes from his new CD, “Use Me,” which features guests Linda Ronstadt, Dr. John, Keb Mo, Los Lobos, the late, great Levon Helm and others; plus faves from a really deep catalog.

Show time is 8 p.m. when Mike & Ruthy open. Tickets are $34.50. Phone 473-1845 or visit


If Bromberg is one of our most totally American artists, playing everything from the sea to sea and border to border, this week also brings artists from the Caribbean.

The great Cuban percussionist and singer Pedrito Martinez wraps up the season at A Place for Jazz on Friday, returning only months after playing Albany’s Riverfront Jazz Festival and the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival.

Impressive as Martinez is as a virtuoso vocalist and hyperactive player of the congas and other percussion, he also leads a creative and combustible combo: (fellow Cuban) keyboardist Ariaicne Trujillo, bassist John Benitez and trumpeter Mike Rodriguez. Almost everything Martinez and crew play is based in Cuban clave beats but that doesn’t limit them at all. This is a great band.

Showtime for Pedrito Martinez on Friday at A Place for Jazz (First Unitarian Society of Schenectady, 1221 Wendell Ave.) is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Phone 393-4011 or visit

Argentine singer Sofia Rei brings songs from a new album to the Sanctuary for Independent Media (3361 6th Ave., Troy) on Friday at 7 p.m. A valued guest star with Maria Schneider, Bobby McFerrin, Geoff Keezer and others, Rei is in the driver’s seat on “De Tierra Y Oro.” Her third and most accomplished album, it stirs sounds from all over South America into a spicy stew of beats and melody.

Friday’s show features trumpeter-flugelhorn player Josh Deutsch, guitarists Eric Kurimsky (acoustic) and Jean-Christophe Maillard (electric), bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Yayo Serka. They groove with playful aplomb as Rei’s voice lifts overhead like Flora Purim in her prime; with about Diana Krall’s range but more intensity. Tickets are $10. Phone 272-2390 or visit

On Saturday, Alsarah and the Nubatones — a quintet configured roughly like Rei’s band — celebrate the music of the Sudan and Nubia at MASSMoCA (1040 MASS MoCA Way, N. Adams, Mass.) with funky clouds of busy percussion, heavenly voices and stringed things zipping in and out of propulsive arrangements. Tickets are $12 in advance, $16 on Saturday, $10 for students. Phone 413-662-2111 or visit


Christine Lavin plays on Friday at WAMC’s The Linda (339 Central Ave., Albany); Don White opens.

Based in Geneva, in the Finger Lakes region, singer-songwriter Lavin has been a regular on our folk scene since waitressing at Caffe Lena before she started singing there. She’s released 13 albums — “Just One Angel” is her latest — and she’s been known to twirl blazing batons onstage. Silly as this may sound, she can also write and sing such profoundly touching fare as the overwhelming “The Kind of Love You Never Recover From.”

She’s literally award-winning: the 2012 NYC Nightlife Award for the best concert and cabaret performers, the 2011 43rd Annual ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for excellence in non-fiction writing about pop music for her book “Cold Pizza for Breakfast: A Mem-Wha?” plus five ASCAP composer awards, the Backstage Bistro Award for Best NYC Singer/Songwriter Of The Year, The Kate Wolf Memorial Award, Album Of The Year from the National Association Of Independent Record Distributors for “Good Thing He Can’t Read My Mind,” and Performing Songwriter Magazine named her one of the Top 100 Most Influential Artists of the Last 15 Years.

Show time for Christine Lavin and fellow funny-profound singer-songwriter Don White is 8 p.m. on Friday. Admission is $18. Phone 465-5233 ext. 4 or visit


Big Sam’s Funky Nation visits Red Square (388 Broadway, Albany) on Friday, with Oobleck opening at 8 p.m. New Orleans trombonist Big Sam Williams played with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band before forming his own deep-rolling quintet with trumpeter-singer Andrew Baham, guitarist Andrew Block, drummer Chocolate MILK and bassist Eric Vogel. Big Sam’s Funky Nation has released five albums and played all the jam- and funk-based festivals. He plays himself in the TV series “Treme,” and he played with Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello on their great “The River in Reverse” album and tour.

Admission is $10. Phone 465-0444 or visit www.redsquare

Reach Gazette columnist Michael Hochanadel at

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